Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Review after a weekend of reading!

Book, books, books... My little present to myself meant ignoring any form of housework that didn't involve a reading light and a three hundred page escape from Christmas carols and presents, cooking and eating food that came from boxes with the word helper on the front and turning a blind eye to the little pieces of Christmas wrap and hundreds of presents strewn across the hardwood floor. And boy, was it worth it.


I found three gems...absolute gems in a genre I don't typically read. Still Missing by Chevy Stevens, Stranger Within and The Girl With No Past both by Kathryn Croft. It has been a chilling weekend of late night, with every light in the house on reading.





The Stranger Within, by Kathryn Croft and published in 2014 by Bookouture, is dark and twisty (not in the uber sarcastic, self-absorbed Buffy the Vampire Slayer way). This is darker and twistier than even I could have predicted. The chilling details of betrayal, adultery, suspicion are played out in a present/past format that focuses on Callie and her desire to be a parent to her new husband's teenage sons. The lengths she goes to protect her family, ward off the mental illness she feels is taking over her life, and to deal with the petulance and overwhelming hatred from her stepsons is written in such a way that even though she commits the ultimate marital sin, kept me rooting for her. With a heroine who makes every bad decision she could possibly make, it would be easy to turn away this book without reading, but it would be a tragic mistake. This writer, again, threw in a few red herrings, kept me guessing, and astounded me with the big reveal. I could never have guessed and I LOVED that about this book. Definitely a 5 star read.



Still Missing by Chevy Stevens is a 384 page psychological masterpiece published by St. Martin's Press in 2014 and is told from the MC's POV as she tells the story to her shrink. Abducted from an open house, Annie is held hostage for a year by "The Freak" who terrorized her, beat her, put her on a pee schedule and denied her food and light for the biggest part of her captivity. Coming to terms with her new phobias and fears, while uncovering the mystery of why this was done to her, leads Annie down a startling emotional path all the while trying to reintegrate herself into her life "before." Without revealing too much, all I can say is if Annie wasn't on the verge of destruction during and immediately after her destruction, finding who was responsible for the mess that has become her life should have destroyed her. I will admit I didn't care for Annie in the beginning, but as I continued to read, I became more and more engrossed in her story. Told in such a smart fashion, seeing her struggles through her eyes, hearing about it in her words drew me in so that I refused to put this book down until I read the last page. Another 5 star read!

The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft is a 300 page thriller, full of suspense and turns that kept me guessing through every single page. Although, when I went to write this review, I couldn't remember a single thing about the book and had to go back, I didn't mind because I knew that as I read the book, I was completely engrossed (the kind that makes me ignore phone calls from folks I haven't spoken to in ages and conversations of my children). Published in 2015 by Bookouture, this psychological thriller focuses on Leah and an incident in her past that is fast threatening to catch up with her. Stalked by an unknown stranger, someone who knows her darkest secret, Leah locks herself away with no one--well, one someone--to help her. It isn't until the mystery stalker makes his/her presence known that Leah figures out why her life is systematically being destroyed. Gripping, chilling, smart, with a heroine I couldn't quite love, didn't have a real reason to hate,  this is one of those books that kept me on the edge of my seat, turning page after page until I knew the truth. This author has a way  of drawing the reader in while guarding the secrets closely for the big reveal at the end.  I can only give it 4 stars because though I read other books this weekend, I had to go back and look up the details I'd forgotten.


Monday, November 23, 2015

What You Wish For by (my BFF) Gina Wynn


Never stop wishing...
Publication Date: September 2015
Genre: Women's Fiction

Maggie’s secrets and lies have always lurked in the shadows of her marriage to childhood best friend, Jake, and the magic of wishes and call of destiny from an alternate world seem to offer her the impossible - a second chance, and a new start. The husband she gains is a lonely man, married to Maggie’s alter-ego from his world, and he has always struggled to understand his wife. Will has long wished for his marriage to change and rediscovers what was missing when he spends time with Maggie. Although she is drawn to Will in this alternate world, Maggie must decide where her ‘love’ for Jake stops and ‘in love’ begins, and discover what happens when she shares her biggest secret with the stranger who has loved her since they met. Caught between two men in two different lives, it is essential Maggie learns whether she has the power to call one world ‘home’ without destroying the people she loves. Never stop wishing.



From the magical land of castles and kings (Okay, it’s England), Gina doesn’t feel as old as she looks, owns three children (aged 2, 5 and 7) who can’t be tamed, and writes in spare – usually stolen – time. She sometimes bakes—not always with quite the desired results, and has found the only solution to keeping the characters in her head quiet is to placate them with lots of other lovely books and worlds.

Website  |  Facebook  | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest 

EXCERPT:
He drove a very nice car, although different to any familiar model from home, and lived in an extremely nice house. In fact, nice didn’t come close to describing his lifestyle, but it would do while I contemplated a better word. The paltry amount in my own bank account never afforded me a reason to think in terms beyond ‘nice’ before.

Note to self: Thou shalt not covet the material aspects of thy alternate-dimension self’s life.

My gaze slid over Will. Coveting her husband was definitely not okay—for so many reasons. I imagined the beautiful, poised, ice bride in the photograph wanting anything of mine and stifled a giggle. Dear God. She’d think she’d died and gone to shop at Pound Land. And I couldn’t even imagine what she’d think of Jake as he rolled over in bed and farted in her general direction before snoring so loudly she heard a bear attack in her dreams.

Will prevented me from standing on his driveway and admiring his belongings by propelling me towards the car and opening the door for me to get in.

“Today, your wish is my command. Your chariot awaits!” He stood aside to help me into the car like some unpaid butler. “I wish I could read your thoughts,” he said. “They’re making you smile.”

I hadn’t been aware of his scrutiny. “Oh…I was just thinking about the other Maggie. Your Maggie.”

“My…?” He faltered. His happy, expectant expression dimmed and became a little more remote. “Of course.”

“Do you miss her?” I was still curious…and not at all sure I wanted him to say yes.





Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Doll...Part 2

Shelby has been committed to a mental institution for the murders of her best friends and the attempted murder of another man. She has no recollection of her actions and has just returned to her room from the first meeting with a new psychiatrist, Dr. Reuter


God. Why couldn’t I remember what happened, what I’d supposedly done? I stared at the hundreds of sketches surgical taped to my walls. My victim? I couldn’t imagine hurting a fly much less three people and a dog. I’d always lived a non-combative, strict hands-off kind of life. I looked at the police report again. I’d studied it every day for the last eleven months, yet not a single memory broke free.
It only listed two victims whose names had been blackened by the Sharpie groupie. I’d been found, soaked in blood, holding a knife, hiding in a closet—and this was my favorite part—screaming about a doll. The police hadn’t located a single doll in the apartment, which struck me as odd considering I made most of the dolls I sold at home and the crime scene photos showed a bunch on tiny little footprints leading away from one of the bodies and out the door as though the killer (supposedly me) had traipsed one of my creations through the blood.
I flopped on my back and held the paper at arm’s length in front of me. I had about three minutes until the light would automatically shut off. I shoved the report under my pillow and threw my arm over my eyes. What the hell happened that night?

When I awoke the next day I had a bruise covering most of my forearm and a throbbing behind my eyes that reminded of a hangover.  Usually, Britantha woke me at dawn’s early light for breakfast of slop covered eggs and the one cup of coffee I was allowed a day.
Instead of leading me to the dining room, they ushered me down the hall, one on each side as though I might try to bolt and break my way through the heavy unit door. I rolled my eyes and stepped into the office. “Wow. Two days in a row. I feel special.”
He looked up from his paperwork and came around the desk to dismiss my surly escorts back to duty.  He shut the door behind them and clicked on the in-use light. “I brought you something.”
With a grin, he handed me a bag with a golden arch logo on the front. I could have hugged him. I would have hugged him except for that whole hands-off thing that if violated could land a girl in the quiet room, hopped up on Thorazine, and drooling into her pillow for days on end.
I took one minute to wonder how he'd known of my Big Mac addiction, but dismissed the thought quickly. The smell teased me and my mouth watered as I popped a French fry. I closed my eyes and chewed, savoring the taste and the texture. Heaven couldn’t be so lovely. I glanced up at him. “So what do I have to do for you now?”
“Just tell me about the nightmare.”
He had a pen poised over a packet of papers.
“I didn’t have a nightmare.” I’d never, in my thirty years, had one.
He frowned. “The night shift nurse called me after we spoke the other day. She said she had to give you a shot to calm you down. You’ve been asleep for two days now. That’s how you hurt your arm.” He circled my wrist with his hand and held it up so we could both have a gander at the ugly purple blob of blood under my skin.
I yanked away and shoved a bite of two all-beef patties in my mouth then chewed thoughtfully.  “I don’t remember a nightmare.”
“You told her it was a doll. The doll did it. She wrote it in her notes.” I shrugged and kept shoveling the burger and fries into my face. “You don’t remember?”
“No.”
He ignored my mouthful of food and read from his bible--my file. “She said you had some sort of superhuman strength and it took two security guards to hold you down so she could give you a shot.”
“She has to be talking about someone else.” Did non-combative mean nothing to these people? Swatting flies went against my better nature.  “And a doll did it?” What kind of crack-pot bullshit was that? I took a swig of the large soda he’d set in front of me. “What doll?”
“You tell me.”
“I don’t know. I’ve been here for how long and I just don’t know.”
He leaned closer, his eyes flashing what I assumed was anger since it matched the scowl and the tone he adopted. “But you do know. You. Know.” After a moment of staring at me as though he could extract the answer with nothing more than a look, he sat back, drumming the fingers of one hand against the other.  “The truth, Shelby, is you are the only one who knows what happened that night.”
“What about the guy who lived through it?”
“He won’t speak about it.”
“Then why should I?”
“Because you killed two people and you tried to kill another.”
I sat back as though he’d slapped me and the food in my stomach sloshed in an angry bid to make a reappearance. “I didn’t kill anyone. I couldn’t. It’s not something I’m capable of.” I shook my head. “I don’t know what happened that night, but I know it wasn’t me.”
“The police found a tiny little footprint at the scene.”

I held up my size eight-and-a-halfs. “Nothing about these bad boys is the sum of tiny.”

Monday, October 26, 2015


The leaves are falling, the mornings are chilly...must mean Halloween is getting close and what better way to celebrate than by entering to win great prizes at the Halloween Book Hop on Facebook!

You can win books and swag and fun Halloween treats to make your chilly nights warmer!

And here is a sneak peek of my Halloween short story...The Doll



Sometimes the ones we love should be let go, never thought of, never brought back.

CHAPTER ONE

   In my former life, I owned a company. I developed a synthetic polymer/fabric blend that mimicked skin when I put it over the hand crafted dolls I charged a boat load of money to buy. So, kind of, I owned two companies, but because they worked together, I only counted it as one. 
   But that was my former life.
   I looked around the day room of my “new home” and grimaced. Okay. I was wearing the uniform of ugly white hospital gown with the standard pre-stained robe, and my shoes had been confiscated for my own safety, but I wasn’t one of the over-drugged, slouching zombies slobbering into my daily lunch of slop and crap. I sat up straight with clear eyes and napkin in my lap. I didn’t belong here, but the alternative was jail, so here didn’t seem so bad and I made the best of every day.
   I’d escaped another day of med drops, clinging to lucidity by the thinnest thread. So far, my court appointed shrink hadn’t prescribed any pharmaceutical intervention to jog the memory of last Halloween.  Not that I wanted to remember. Knowing it was bad enough to land me in the state run facility for criminally insane offenders happened to be enough for me, but if I didn’t spring forth with some tidbit soon, a long future with the biters and hitters and all-night-long-screamers was guaranteed.
   My table mate flicked a forkful of slop onto the dingy Formica surface. She poked a stiff index finger into the center and smeared it around the surface in circles growing wider as she weaved back and forth in her chair to reach the outer boundaries of her personal space.  Ugh. Twelve months of this same behavior, repeated at every meal, yet my request for a different seating arrangement went ignored.
   I huffed out a sigh, pushed my chair back and walked away before she decided to redecorate me with a couple dollops of her lunch on my ugly jammies. Since it was Tuesday, I had a standing appointment with my shrink immediately after lunch. I would get my weekly book (with all the fun words and scenes blacked out by a heavy handed Sharpie user), my mail (also redacted for my protection) and the biggest prize of all—a diet soda to enjoy during our one hour session.
   Britantha—the supervisory group composed of Brittany and Samantha— in unison waved me through the dining room as though they shared one brain or communicated telepathically.  They wore turd brown scrubs and shiny white shoes while the other staff wore whimsical and fun uniform shirts designed to lighten up the dreary, window and door-barred psych unit.
   Back in my room, I took my sketch pad from beneath my mattress and a pencil from my collection from inside my heating vent (they might have been zombies, but some of them had sticky fingers), and waited for my escort to the office at the end of the hall.
   Fifteen minutes later, I had my knees drawn up with my heels resting on edge of the sofa. The lead drifted over the paper, drawing the man who haunted my dreams, the man whose picture provided the wallpaper in my room. Without a clue who he was or why the details of his face (chiseled jaw, dimpled left cheek, wide set eyes I imagined as a deep brown, and a tattoo on his back that swung around to hug his front and climb in small points up his neck) came to me so easily and with such repetition, I had no other subject I wished to draw.  
   My shrink hadn’t arrived yet, but during our session, he paid little attention to me anyway. He asked two questions every single time—“Do you remember what happened?” and “Is there anything I can get you?” When I answer no to both, he hands me my mail, my book and my soda, walks over to his desk and writes copious amounts of notes in what I always assumed was the great American novel he’d started during our weekly visits. I’d tried once to look over his shoulder and he quickly threw his body over top of his writing like a soldier on a grenade. I never tried again.
   The door swung open and I didn’t bother looking up. We had a routine and to deviate would probably cause him physical pain or maybe make him explode which would cause my extended stay to further extend.
   “Shelby.” A new voice spoke my name and I looked up. “My name is Dr. Rueter.” He was cute in a zany professor kind of way with green eyes magnified by black rimmed glasses perched on a slender nose. His mouth produced a smile full of shiny white teeth and his khaki pants and cardigan both needed a good ironing, but he was better than the last one who looked like he belonged on the front of the KFC chicken bucket.  “Dr. Rothschild has moved on, and I’m taking his patients.” He pulled an orange plastic chair up in front of me.  After he skimmed the file, he snapped it closed and looked up at me with a smile. “Tell me what brings you here to this, the happiest of places on Earth.”
   “I think our ideas of happy might vary a little too much for this to be beneficial relationship for either of us.” Sarcasm. It was how I’d run Rothschild behind his desk and kept him there.  “I’ll just go back to my room and you can write down what a good little patient I am and spend your next hour surfing the net for porn.” I slipped my feet into my shoes and stood.
   His lips twisted to one side. “Sit down. Let’s chat.”
   He opened the folder and held it up to show me a picture. I turned my head. I’d seen it before…the bloody floor, the knife, an apartment they said I shared with two roommates and a dog…none of whom survived that night.
   He pulled the folder back to sit on his lap. “You wanna tell me about that?”
   “Well, I would if only I could, but something awful happened, and I seem to have blocked the whole thing out.” He dug into an over-sized briefcase and extracted a plastic baggie of bloody clothes. “Boy, you’re all gung ho, aren’t you?”
   “You have a status hearing next week, and I’d like to be able to report some progress.”
   “So this is about you looking good? Getting the details no one else could get?”
   “Do you know the details?”
   Focusing too closely on me could only lead to the dark side. “Where did you go to school?”
   “University of Wisconsin.” He considered me from beneath lowered eyelids. 
   “You’re one of them rootin’, tootin’ cheese heads?” I injected a southern cartoon drawl to go with my disdain then rolled my eyes and picked up the sketch pad. He snatched it from my hand. “Hey!”
   “And who is this?”
   “I don’t have a clue. A figment of my imagination, I suppose.”
   He held my notebook in one hand and flipped through the file with the other.  “Or not.” He handed me both then sat back as though he had unlocked a plan for world peace.  With his hands clasped in his lap and one leg crossed over the other, he smiled. “He was one of your victims.”


COME BACK FOR ANOTHER SEGMENT TOMORROW!

Friday, September 4, 2015

OMG! Check this out! Her Dollmaker's Desire is out for Release!!!



Author Gina Wynn (Who is also incidentally my BFF) is proud to announce the release of her new book Her Dollmaker's Desire is available for immediate delivery to your Kindle Today!

I can tell you this has been a long journey for Gina. She is the kind of author who puts her heart and soul into her writing and produces a product that exceeds excellence. and lucky for us readers, too. This is a story whose characters will enchant you and allow you to come along on their magical journey to true love.  As a retelling of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, this story follows the slightly broken Amy as she starts a new adventure in her life. Coming to grips with a past that almost destroyed her, Amy meets Peder and Tobias the Dollmaker. From that first moment, she is drawn into the wonderful world of dolls, and the sheer magic of true love. Following her rules has never been more difficult until she realizes that she can make rules to fit her life rather than follow rules that restrict her from living.

This is a story that will hold you in its depths from the first world to the last and when it finishes, you will wish for more. (Shhh. Don't tell, there's more coming SOON!)

Don't miss your chance to own this masterpiece! Buy it on Amazon! (And don't forget to leave a review. Authors love that!)



Rule number 123: Once upon a time is for fairy tales, not for broken ex dancers who live at home with Daddy and a textbook evil stepmother, and who only manage to get through life by counting every single step. 

Amy knows her rules inside out…who to spend time with, what to eat, what to drink and what to do - until danger shows up in a leather jacket on a shiny chrome motorbike. Suddenly, breaking the rules seems to be all she can manage no matter how hard she tries, and her rigid control starts to slip.

Peder’s violent past has shaped him into the man he is, much the way he has learned to shape dolls with the help of his grandfather. He used to have only one rule in his life, courtesy of his absent brother and their shared gang past. When Amy is sent to write an article on his grandfather and his history of doll making for a paper her father’s company owns, she captures Peder’s interest and his heart. After his brother makes an ill-timed return and issues an instruction that threatens his future with Amy, Peder becomes trapped in a fresh web of lies and family ties. He must decide if he should start breaking the rules he didn’t know he lived by to take a chance on a future with Amy while knowing he could still lose her if she finds out.

Is Amy brave enough to put her faith in Peder, and can he overcome his past and convince Amy to follow their destiny, rather than her rules?



Excerpt:

 Lost in her thoughts of the past, Amy reached to grasp the ballet dancer’s tiny form.

“I’ve brought the cake, if you want to come and sit with us for your cup of tea?” A new male voice, deep and confident, startled her.

She jumped and straightened, coming nose to nose with the unhinged grin and vacant leer of a circus clown.

A gasp tore from her lips. “Oh, my God.” She backed into something warm and solid, and shrieked before spinning round.

“Sorry. Sorry…it’s just me.” The man’s eyes, rich with the colours of wild woodland moss, held an unexpected glint of danger. She shivered as an electric jolt shot straight through her when she met that green gaze. It glimmered with mischief and laughter, and he didn’t look quite as sorry as he should have.

Reflex led to her almost leaning into his strong grip as he reached out to steady her. Almost. She tugged her arm away and held out her hand.

“Pleased to meet you.” Superficial manners and years of rules kicked in, and she averted her gaze from the man who hadn’t introduced himself, and especially from his dangerous eyes. Her heart continued to race over her close encounter with the clown…yet the warmth in her arm lingered where the man had wrapped his strong fingers around her.

“Quite,” came his polite reply, and the obvious disinterest in his tone echoed through her, but what had she expected? Rule Number 15: Know your place, always.

She sneaked a quick look at him, and his very attractive lips upturned in an amused smile. One she almost returned, while wishing he’d speak more words once she could hear him over the rushing of blood in her ears. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Cover Reveal for Switch-A-Wish

“Little kids are great, but they are capable of making their mothers disappear, one hour of sleep at a time.”

If a book has a line that sticks with me, I know the book is going to end up on my prized shelf in my house. I love to read, but I don't have a lot of books on that shelf. Something happened when I read Switch-A-Wish the very first time and it had power behind it. I was hooked and I knew it would sit right alongside all my favorites. 

This book has been a personal journey for me as the editor and as a mom and wife. I found so many things inside I could relate to as they switch took place. But the line... the one line that sealed the deal for me was, “Little kids are great, but they are capable of making their mothers disappear, one hour of sleep at a time.” 

In my almost thirty years of mom experience, I have felt that way so many times, so many days in a row. I see my daughter (who has two beautiful and energetic sons) feel it and I'm sure, even though I was one of four angelic daughter, my mom felt it too. 

To be honest, this whole book resonated with me, with my life as a wife and parent. It was like this woman came into my house and took notes to write her novel. In my opinion, this book has break-out written all over it and I cannot wait to own a copy of it.

COMING FROM THREE WORLDS PRESS ON SEPTEMBER 17, 2015!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Storm Rising...new Cover to celebrate Pre-release Day!!!

Author Kenneth Hoss put in some serious time crafting the Kelli Storm novels. Complex and suspenseful, he went above and beyond to create an entire world of three dimensional characters.

When a murder investigation turns Detective Kelli Storm’s attention to a drug kingpin, the last thing she expected was to find a link to her father’s killer from twenty years earlier.

The Washington Height's neighborhood has turned deadly for NYPD detectives Kelli Storm and Bill Hayes. 

A young woman is murdered and Kelli tracks the killer to a Gentleman’s Club in Manhattan. After an unwilling witness is assaulted and left dying, Kelli and Bill turn their investigation in a new and more dangerous direction. When the DEA steps in and takes over, Kelli is forced off the case.

Working behind the scenes, she pulls out one of her father’s old case files and starts making connections she never would have dreamed possible. An old gun, new witnesses and danger lurking in the shadows have storms rising all over New York City.

And NOW... the moment...


Buy it on AMAZON
OOOORRRR     KOBO

BUY IT TODAY!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Gina Wynn Cover Reveal--What You Wish For



I have been waiting for this day for a year... a solid year. That's when I first met Will and Maggie and I first fell in love with the characters Gina created. She's my editor, my author and my best friend and I couldn't be happier to share this day with her!

Will is a fabulously wealthy, slightly broken character who falls for the Maggie he met years earlier and married the woman he believed was her. It sounds complicated, but it isn't. It's beautiful and complex, but an easy read with characters that come alive on the pages. And now, without further rambling from me, the cover I have been waiting to show the world...


 This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

What You Wish For
By Gina Wynn
Genre: Romance/ Women’s Fiction
Age category: Adult
Release Date: September 2015
Publisher: Three Worlds Press
Cover designed by: Magali Fr├ęchette

Blurb:
Maggie’s secrets and lies have always lurked in the shadows of her marriage to childhood best friend, Jake, and the magic of wishes and call of destiny from an alternate world seem to offer her the impossible - a second chance, and a new start.

The husband she gains is a lonely man, married to Maggie’s alter-ego from his world, and he has always struggled to understand his wife. Will has long wished for his marriage to change and rediscovers what was missing when he spends time with Maggie. Although she is drawn to Will in this alternate world, Maggie must decide where her ‘love’ for Jake stops and ‘in love’ begins, and discover what happens when she shares her biggest secret with the stranger who has loved her since they met.

Caught between two men in two different lives, it is essential Maggie learns whether she has the power to call one world ‘home’ without destroying the people she loves.

Never stop wishing.

Excerpt:
His mouth twisted into a self-deprecating smile and he brushed his thumb across my cheek. I almost closed my eyes at the calm his touch brought me. I ached to rest my cheek in his palm, to let him soothe me. His hand fell away and I mourned the loss of contact, the loss of part of myself to want and wishes. I felt myself splitting, fracturing, dividing right there, and glanced at Will to see if he noticed.

He looked at me, eyes sharp and focused, and the weight of his hand pressed on my thigh through the blankets. “Have you ever done that thing where you drop something, hear it hit the ground, and when you search for it, it’s gone? You might give up after five minutes, or search intermittently for years, but it doesn’t matter. You won’t find it. It’s not there anymore. It’s sort of…gone…beyond what you can see. It’s as if it has slipped through the cracks into somewhere else. Because things don’t just vanish, right? They must go somewhere…so, somewhere else must exist…and, now, you’re here instead of there.”

He narrowed his eyes as if in thought and I fought the urge to touch the tiny lines where his skin crinkled at the corners, to smooth them for him.

“You know, I think I dropped something once.” His voice emerged so quietly I barely heard him.

He met my gaze, and gave me a lop-sided grin. “To put it more crudely, I’m guessing I’m not the man you went to bed with, and you are definitely not the Maggie I fell asleep next to.”

His words jolted me, and I wrapped my arms over my waist.

“I’m not going crazy.” The last lament of a crazy woman. “This can only be a dream. Only a dream. Otherwise, I am crazy. Only a dream. Please?”

He shook his head, his smile sad. “Is that what you want, Maggie? For me to be a dream? To wake up?”

Before I even formed a thought, I shook my head.
I didn’t want that.

--

Congratulations, Gina! I am so happy for you!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Witness Through Time by Scott Wieczorek

Author Scott Wieczorek has pierced the veil of time...well, his character did and to celebrate his print release, we are unveiling his brand new cover for Witness Through Time......

Ready....


Set....

GO!



When Glory Parker moves to the bucolic burg of Cragg's Head Cove, Maine, she uncovers a mystery that has remained unsolved for more than fifteen years—the disappearances of four college students with the perpetrator still on the loose. As the mystery unfolds around her, she becomes aware of her strange new ability to pierce the veil of time. Can Glory solve the mystery before more people disappear?



Witness Through Time Excerpt:

The glow of her headlights caught a gleam of metal ahead in the distance. A car was pulled over to the roadside. Could it be Jim? Did he decide not to head in to the station, but to wait for her? As she approached, the car came more clearly into view—definitely not Jim's.
Parked askew, it appeared the driver had pulled over in haste. The car's headlights remained on, but its taillights sat dark. She couldn't understand why someone would drive and abandon a car in such a dangerous way at night.

Against all her instincts and better judgment, she pulled off the road, grabbed her cell phone, and shut off her car. As it sputtered to a stop, it became apparent the other driver hadn't turned his engine off. Had something terrible happened? Its occupants couldn't be too far away. She reached into her center console and removed a flashlight before stepping out into the chilly night air.

She dialed Jim's number, hoping he still had his cell phone handy, but groaned at the dead air against her ear. A glance at the screen told her all she needed to know—no bars. How could that even be? She'd just received a text from Jim mere moments ago. She sighed, debating whether to drive a little further up the road to find better reception, or a phone booth. But something tugged at her; people probably needed help, and she couldn't just leave them here. With a shiver flitting up her spine, she stuffed the phone in her pocket and closed her car door.

As she stepped toward the embankment, the hackles stood on her neck. Something about the whole scene seemed wrong. Except for the low idle of the car, an eerie solitude settled about the place; not even the tree frogs croaked their mating songs in the night.
A scream pierced the stillness. She knew the sound—it didn't belong to any kind of animal; it belonged to a woman. She pulled her phone from her pocket. She dialed Jim's number again—still no reception.

Whipping her flashlight around, she pointed it to where the sound came from. Of course, it needed to be down the embankment. She slipped her phone into her pocket again; she would check for reception again later.

With a deep breath, she made her way down the steep roadside to the leaf-littered forest floor below. A quick examination of the slope as she went revealed another fresh path cut through the leaves, and snapped branches. Someone had crashed through here at high speed. Another scream caught her attention—a female voice, and definitely in trouble. Glory broke into a sprint, following the voice. She ran through the woods, branches whipping her face and brush grabbing her ankles.

"Somebody! Help me!"

The girl's scream sounded loud and clear. Something crashed in the leaves ahead, followed by a groan and sounds of struggle.

"Let me go, you bastard." The girl's voice echoed through the woods.

"Shut up!" The angry voice belonged to a male.

As her feet crashed through the leaves, she heard something like a meaty thud.

Glory stopped dead in her tracks, reached for her phone, and dialed 9-1-1. She pressed send—nothing again. Crap! She must still be in a dead spot. The irony struck her. If she didn't do something soon, then this would certainly be a dead spot for the girl. She needed to help—one way or another. Glory crept up, extinguishing her flashlight. She followed the sounds of struggle pierced by the girl's sobs and squeals.

"Yeah," said the male voice, "you go ahead and cry. Ain't nobody gonna help you." Glory could hear from the sound of his voice that he was enjoying himself.

The girl wailed, her voice carrying through the barren trees. The sharp clap of an open-handed slap echoed through the dark. Another wail flew into the night.

Glory could see the pair on the ground. The mousy young brunette girl lay on her back with a young man of average build atop her. He wore a backward baseball cap and Glory couldn't see his face. They wrestled around as he tried to pin her hands at her sides. She wriggled her hand free and tried to punch him, but he grabbed her wrist, trapping it again.

She scanned the ground for anything she could use as a weapon. Ten feet to her right, lay a long, thick branch, about four-feet in length. Her heartbeat thrummed in her ears. Sidling like a crab, she slid her phone in her pocket and picked it up, creeping toward them.

Before she could reach them, though, the male straightened up, bellowing in pain. He clutched a hand to his face. Blood covered one of the girl's hands.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Here He Comes Again is coming SOOOOOOONNNNN!!!!!!

I am so excited to announce the release of Here He Comes Again on August 18th, 2015.

My favorite Scene...
happens in a jailhouse. 

and the whole book was born with just this one line and that one scene.

It all started when I was laying in bed one night and the phone rang (my phone call wasn’t nearly so good as Jocelyn’s). It was just a random call from my sister in law, but after I got off the phone and tried to go back to sleep, an idea started toying with me. I know. It’s supposed to be the other way around, but it hardly ever works that way for me.



I didn’t hop out of bed and immediately write it down or anything so exciting, I let it sit until the morning. I figured, if I woke up and the line was still there, it was a keeper. If not, something else would come.

Lo and behold, in the morning, there it was, still whirling around up there and it had a whole scene attached to it. The jail house scene. I imagined the whole interlude that morning—saw the entire thing, from the dingy sheets on Keaton’s jail cell bed, to Simon’s brown uniform, to Jocelyn’s fuzzy slippers and that monstrosity of a birthday cake.

Then came the dialogue. Keaton, I knew would be charming and fun. Simon was a momma’s boy, the golden child who worked with Keaton to orchestrate the whole thing. Jocelyn, though, she had to be tough and resistant to him and that was hard to write because I wanted her to fall back into Keaton from that first minute. I wanted whatever their problem was (I didn’t really know then) to vaporize into nothingness. But, if he didn’t have to fight for it, who would read it?

The first line… Had I known the first person to wish me happy thirtieth birthday would be my ex-husband calling from the county jail, I wouldn’t have answered gave me enough about Jocelyn that I knew she would be feisty when she saw him and his homecoming (he told me he’d been away) would be less than a joyous occasion for her.


And while it is the line that started everything rolling for me, I hope it is a line that stays with you, as well.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Scandalous Intentions - Read it NOW!




Sometimes, a book is so good, so fresh you get to the end and you're sad it's over. Scandalous Intentions by Amanda Mariel is that book. Second in her Ladies and Scoundrel series, Miss Mariel has created character with witty dialogue, romance that jumps off the page and a story that will keep you entertained throughout every one of its 120 pages.

I don't usually read Victorian Romance and I don't usually finish them in one day, but with this book, I started to read and didn't stop until I finished. I usually prefer my heroes to be modern, to have the conveniences of text massages and phone calls, but as I read it didn't occur to me miss those things. Ms. Mariel handled her spunky heroine and handsome hero's romance without relying on technological devices to escalate the excitement. Her heroine, Sara, is a woman who knows her own mind. Older than most women who've already married, Lady Sara is holding out, until the moment she discovers Lord Luvington (don't you LOVE that name???) may be more than just a rake in Gentleman's clothing. I wasn't aware the Victorian era folks could banter, but they do and they do it well! I was drawn in from the first page and didn't stop until I read the end.
If you don't do anything else today, buy this book and read it. You won't be sorry you did!


Click here to spend and afternoon falling in love with Lord Luvington

When faced with losing his inheritance, notorious rake Lord Julian Luvington sets his sights on Lady Sara. She’s as respectable as they come, just what his father ordered. But the lady shall not be easily won.

She’s determined to marry for love or not at all, and she’ll do anything to obtain the freedom granted to men. A blackguard like Lord Luvington could destroy her hard-won reputation, but marriage to him also offers her the opportunities she can’t achieve on her own. What’s a lady to do?


When Lord Luvington refuses to abandon his pursuit, Lady Sara proposes an arrangement. Only the price may be more than either bargained for. Lady Sara could lose more than her social standing and Julian could lose his heart.
   

Excerpt:
    Sarah pushed out a sigh as Lord Luvington lead her toward a stone bench nestled among the lush green hedge.
    “Shall we sit for a moment? I wish to explain.” He pressed his arm against her hand then loosened it again.
    She looked away. “Very well. Though I cannot imagine what you might say to change things.”           Sarah hesitated for a moment, reluctant to release her grip on him before she lowered herself onto the bench. The stone’s cool exterior seeped through her skirts, a welcome contrast to the warmth radiating through her. She rested one hand on her lap and waved her fan with the other.
    Lord Luvington positioned himself on the bench a smidgen closer than was proper, angling himself so that he faced her. The fresh spring scents of foliage and flowers took on a heady intensity. She stared fixedly at the hedge in front of her. Her face flamed though she could not credit it to the heat of the atmosphere.
    She needed to take control of the situation before it swept her away. “Speak your piece and be done with it. I do not wish to linger here over long.” He flashed a toe-curling grin just before she glanced away.
    “What I said in the park was the truth. Is the truth. But there is more to it than just my need of a respectable wife.”
    “Do tell.” She lowered her fan to her lap, its ribbons trailing in the breeze, and locked her gaze with his.
    “I have come to care for you, admire you, even. You’re a fascinating and attractive woman.”
She plucked at her satin skirts as the heat climbed back into her face.
    “It is true that I will not inherit the duchy without a proper society wife. It is the very reason I began looking for one. I shall not deny it, but nor is it the reason I continue to pursue you.” He reached up and brushed a curl that had escaped her bonnet away from her cheek.
    His fingers left a tingling trail in their wake, and something inside Sarah began to crumble. She glanced down at the path they had just walked.
    “I would like the chance to make this right. Allow me to court you, Lady Sarah. Let us discover if there might be something real between us.”
    She glanced at him, unsure how to respond. Her mind screamed no, but her heart and soul begged for him. She wanted to reach out and run her hand across his strong jaw, feel his lips pressed against hers, discover what it felt like to be in his arms.
    “Spend the rest of the party in my company, Lady Sarah. Grant me one afternoon to change your mind.”

    A wave of tingles ran down her and congregated in her abdomen at his smile. This was dangerous, and she knew it. And yet…


BUY Scandalous Intentions here:




About the Author:

Amanda Mariel dreams of days gone by when life moved at a slower pace. She enjoys taking pen to paper and exploring historical time periods through her imagination and the written word. Her hobbies include reading, writing, crocheting, traveling, photography, and spending time with her family. Some of Amanda Mariel's favorite places in the continental U.S. are Harper's Ferry West Virginia and Sea Brook New Hampshire. She loves the history that surrounds them and visits every chance she gets.

Amanda Mariel lives along the Lake Huron shore line in northern Michigan with her husband and two kids. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts Degree with a concentration in literature and has a long standing love affair with sugary junk food.